Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka worked hard to secure the expected bunch sprint on stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico. In a chaotic finish, Scott Thwaites impressed by taking 7th place against the best sprinters in the race.
After two very hard and hilly days for the riders, today’s stage offered a rare chance for the sprinters to fight for glory. Eight riders got away early on the stage but the peloton kept the break on a tight leash, not allowing the gap to get much over three minutes. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was fully committed to control the race and together with Quick-Step Floors, our riders managed to keep the breakaway in check.
As the peloton crossed the finishing line for the first time, the front group had a lead of just 30 seconds on the pack. Soon after, the road began to kick up. This small ascent instantly saw several riders attack from the peloton, which caused the gap to the breakaway to diminish quickly. However, despite numerous attempts to get away, it all came back together on the last 3 km. Unfortunately, the furious pace over the climb had interrupted Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s leadout for Mark Cavendish and instead, it was now up to race debutant Thwaites to seize the moment. In the sprint, Thwaites did very well to finish seventh as Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) won the stage. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) continues to lead Tirreno-Adriatico overall before tomorrow’s final stage of the race.
“On the final circuit, my job was to get over the climb by myself and then wait for the leadout guys to come back to me. I was sitting in about tenth position just waiting and waiting. On the final kilometer, I realized it was too late for the guys to come back and I decided to follow the wheels in front of me. I spent a bit of energy sitting out in the wind so I couldn’t really sprint. Also, a gap opened up in front of me straightaway so I had to start my sprint early. However, I think it went okay. A tailwind sprint like this isn’t really my specialty”.